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Compliance

Product Compliance

The Panasonic Group is well aware of the various restrictions imposed by European, national and international legislation. The main concern in Europe is currently compliance with the directives and regulations listed below. The list does not claim to be comprehensive.

In addition to the legislative requirements, the Panasonic Group has set its own, more stringent targets for products and procurement. Within our green procurement activity, we require our suppliers to comply with the ''Panasonic Chemical Substance Management Rank Guideline for Products'', which sets voluntary limits on the use of certain chemical substances.

 

Corporate ethics

Panasonic Electric Works has been strongly committed to ethical conduct as spelled out in the philosophy of our founder, Konosuke Matsushita, making human rights and safety an integral part of Panasonic's tradition. To make this business ethics tradition clear to everyone, both inside and outside the PEW group, we publish our compliance program activities on a regular basis. This is done to clarify the structure of our ethical environment in order to enable its preservation and dissemination on a company-wide basis.

Industrial associations

Active participation in relevant industrial associations and local authorities is an essential part of our compliance policy. In the respective committees, relevant legal information is shared and exchanged but also industrial intentions and opinions are furnished to legislative bodies.

 

ELV Compliance Declaration (Directive 2000/53/EC)

The ELV (End of Life Vehicles) directive aims to prevent waste from vehicles, to reuse, recycle and recover end-of-life vehicles and their components. Therefore our automotive components for vehicles put on the market after July 1, 2003 are not supposed to contain lead, mercury, cadmium or hexavalent chromium. In annex II of this directive some exceptions are mentioned, e.g. a total of 60 grams of lead per vehicle is allowed. However, such details are difficult to communicate in the sales field, so as with the RoHS directive, PEW's aim is to completely avoid such substances in automotive components.

 

RoHS Compliance Activities (Directive 2002/95/EC)

Panasonic voluntarily set corporate-wide internal limits exceeding European RoHS legislation. This system not only requires declarations from our suppliers but also analytical proof on a regular basis, either by the supplier or ourselves. Based on these results, we can assign risk levels to suppliers and products purchased, ensuring all our products conform to the RoHS Directive and our own internal standards.

RoHS Compliance Declaration

The RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) directive is applied uniformly in Europe and bans lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) as hazardous substances since July 1, 2006.

Within the scope of this directive, categories 8 and 9 shown in annex 1A are explicitly excluded for the time being. This means when our components are used in medical or industrial devices, they are, strictly speaking, not covered by the RoHS directive. When used in the other categories, e.g. household appliances, compliance is required. Today, for all practical purposes, all electric and electronic products and by extension the components used therein are RoHS-compliant. Nevertheless, we assume that the market does not want to be bothered with details and, as a consequence, decided early on to simply eliminate hazardous substances in our product spectrum wherever possible and introduced an environmental policy that exceeds the requirements of the RoHS directive (-> Green Procurement). Hence, all Panasonic products are at least RoHS compliant.

Relays with contacts that contain cadmium are still exempt from the RoHS directive. However, due to its general corporate policy, Panasonic no longer offers any relays whose contacts contain cadmium. Though Panasonic offers Cd-free relays with similar specifications, we will, in rare cases and in this period of transition, produce relays with AgCdO contacts if the customer specifically requests them.

 

WEEE Compliance Declaration (Directive 2002/96/EC)

The WEEE (Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment) directive establishes minimum requirements for handling waste of electrical equipment, which has to be accomplished country by country via national laws. The goal of the directive and the corresponding national laws is the environmentally conscious disposal of waste of electrical and electronic equipment used privately or in industry, focussing primarily on household appliances and equipment (§1). The question remaining open is to which extent components of industrial controls are subject to the scope of this directive, e.g. relays, contactors, sensors, monitoring and control instruments, control devices, PLC components, inverters or electrical drives.

According to article 2, the directive encompasses electrical and electronic equipment in the categories listed in annex 1A, provided that the equipment concerned is not part of another type of equipment that does not fall within the scope of this directive. Such equipment, namely large scale stationary industrial tools, is listed in category 6 of annex 1A and is hence explicitly excluded from the scope of the directive. According to Orgalime (Liaison Group of the European Mechanical, Electrical, Electronic and Metalworking Industries), large-scale stationary tools are, "Machines or systems consisting of a combination of equipment and/or components, each of which is manufactured to be used in industry only, permanently fixed and installed by professionals at a given place in industrial machinery or in an industrial building to perform a specific task. They are not intended to be placed on the market as a single functional or commercial unit. Equipment that is part of another type of equipment is not considered to be a finished product."

As parts of a fixed installation, e.g. industrial monitoring, controls and drive components in this respect are exempted as they are part of and form a functional unit of the machine. Hence they are not subject to the WEEE directive.

Moreover, tool machinery, machine systems and the related components and control units are not comparable to those of private households with respect to waste disposal at the end of their life, neither in regard to their constituion nor the quantity in which they are produced. Finally, these goods have not been nor will be disposed of in municipal waste.

Summarizing, components of monitoring and controls technology as well as electrical drives being used in large-scale stationary industrial tools are generally not subject to the WEEE directive or the respective national laws. Hence registering our company with national registration authorities, e.g. EAR in Germany, is not necessary for these products. Nevertheless, we are keeping an eye on how this directive and the corresponding national laws develop.

 

Annex 1A ot the RoHS and WEEE directives

  1. large household appliances
  2. small household appliances
  3. IT and telecommunications equipment
  4. consumer equipment
  5. lighting equipment
  6. electrical and electronic tools (with the exception of large-scale stationary industrial tools)
  7. toys, leisure and sports equipment
  8. medical devices (with the exception of all implanted and infected products)
  9. monitoring and control instruments
  10. automatic dispensers